With the growing global awareness of the requirement for sustainable development, economic development is no longer the sole objective of business activities. The need to find a balance between environmental impacts and economic benefits is especially the case for airport operations in or around cities. This study measured the environmental costs and economic benefits and of an airport for a period of 10 years, using Taipei Songshan Airport for the empirical analysis, to examine whether the environmental costs could outweigh the economic benefits. Of all the environmental negative side effects, aircraft engine emissions and noise nuisance are considered the main sources of environmental impacts. The dose-response method and the hedonic price method, respectively, were used for estimating the social costs of these. Income generation from both direct and secondary employment is measured as economic benefits by applying the Garin-Lowry model, originally developed in 1966, for estimation of the employment multiplier. The results show that, in general, the operation of Taipei Songshan Airport brought more economic benefits than environmental costs. The sensitivity analysis of emissions and noise social cost parameters shows that the environmental costs might have exceeded the economic benefits in 2008 and 2009 in certain high emissions and noise social cost cases.
airport operation environmental impact economic benefit noise social cost emissions social cost